AHA 2016

Hello there! Last week I attended the American Historical Association (AHA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I was presenting at the poster session on Saturday and you can read more about that here. I had an amazing time at the conference. I really loved it! Being an Americanist in Ireland can be difficult at times because there are very few people with whom I can discuss my work or new research. However, going to the conference gave me the opportunity to do all that. Over the course of three days, I attended some really interesting panels about race, Reconstruction, the Civil War and black education. I also got to meet some really interesting people and we’re already in talks about possible collaborations.

AM Brosnan Poster

My poster

Many of the panels that I attended discussed broadening the Reconstruction timeline. Generally, historians concede that Reconstruction began in 1861 and ended in 1877. However, more and more historians are beginning to argue that Reconstruction lasted well beyond 1877 and some are even suggesting that it started before 1861. It was a really interesting topic that emerged in many of the panels that I attended and it’s something that I will definitely consider going forward.

There was also a great social aspect to the AHA. On Friday evening I attended the Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill reception. That was fun because I got to meet up with a lot of the grad students that I met while studying at UNC. On Saturday, after a day of attending panels and presenting my research, I met up with two other Fulbrighters, Aditya from India and Jemilla from Sierra Leone. I met both Aditya and Jemilla at the Gateway Orientation Program in August last year – you can read more about my orientation experience here. Aditya invited us to his home and he cooked us Indian food. It was delicious! Jemilla brought two of her classmates as well as some margarita mix along with her so it turned out to be a great night!


Atlanta at night

All in all, I had a thoroughly enjoyable and productive experience at the AHA. I met many interesting historians, learned about new research and reunited with some old friends. The Fulbright Award definitely helped to make the AHA as enjoyable as it was. Without it, I would not have been in a position to attend the UNC reception, I would not have known so many grad students attending the conference and I would not have known anybody living in the beautiful city that is Atlanta. I’m really looking forward to the next meeting!


Day One in Atlanta, Georgia


Happy Monday!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I was so busy getting everything organised for this trip.

So I arrived in Atlanta, Georgia last night. I’m not gonna lie, it was tough leaving home. I was so sad saying goodbye to everyone, especially one person in particular. I was in Chicago and NYC for five weeks just a few months ago so it seemed like this trip came around really fast and I was off again before you knew it!

A beautiful view of NYC from Central Park West in May 2015.

A beautiful view of NYC from Central Park West in May 2015.

Anyway, homesickness aside, the first observation I made is that Atlanta is HOT! Yikes. And I’m not great with the heat. When you walk outside the hot air blasts you in the face. Like when you open the door of a really hot oven. I’m hoping I acclimatise!

The second observation I made is that it’s dark at 6am! One of my favourite things about Ireland during the summer is the bright mornings, regardless of the weather. I’m an early bird so waking up to a bright morning is a huge bonus for me. It’s pretty bright by 7am though and, to be honest, I probably won’t be getting up until that time anyway! 🙂

How beautiful is the view from my home in Ireland early in the morning? Granted these mornings are few and far between these days!

How beautiful is the view from my home in Ireland early in the morning? Granted these mornings are few and far between these days!

Today I begin my Fulbright Gateway Orientation program so I will keep you all updated on that over the coming days.

Bye for now!